Women who have had a mastectomy are not suitable candidates for an arm lift if the lymph glands are damaged as further surgery can lead to complications. Patients with other physical conditions of the armpit or glands may not be good candidates for this surgery.
Dr. Chartchai will likely remove the skin in an elliptical or triangular shape, with incisions on the inner surface of the arm, most often in a zigzag line. Often some fat is suctioned at the same time. The surgical opening may run from the armpit to as low as the elbow.
While the excess skin and fat is removed, the remaining skin is stretched and sutured into place. Occasionally a drain is used to lead excess fluids from the site of incision.
After the procedure your arms will be placed in a special compression garment to help the newly-sculpted skin adhere to the tissue underneath. You will probably have several layers of stitches on the upper arm. Some of the stitches will be absorbable, and some will have to be removed by Dr. Chartchai a few days after your surgery during a follow-up visit.
For the first week following surgery, you must avoid strenuous activity, including bending and lifting. Swelling is mild to moderate, and peaks in 2-3 days.
You'll probably be able to return to work in a week, and resume exercise within 2 weeks. Strenuous workouts and contact sports can be engaged in after about 4 weeks.
The most common risks associated with this type of surgery include, but are not limited to, excessive bleeding, infection, visible scarring, possible asymmetry or irregularities, and possible changes in nerve sensation.
An arm lift procedure does not affect muscle tone.